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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Great Apostasy

By Connie Raddon

“Mormons have the only pure and perfect Christianity on earth. 
All other systems of religion are false.” 
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine page 626

Color Key:
Quotes from the Mormon Teachings in blue.
Quotes from the Bible in red.

What Does Mormonism Say About Apostasy?

“After times of righteousness, people have often turned to wickedness.  One example is the Great Apostasy, which occurred after the Savior established His Church.  After the deaths of the Savior and His Apostles, men corrupted the principles of the gospel and made unauthorized changes in Church organization and priesthood ordinances.  Because of this widespread wickedness, the Lord withdrew the authority of the priesthood from the earth.
            During the Great Apostasy, people were without divine direction from living prophets.  Many churches were established, but they did not have priesthood power to lead people to the true knowledge of God the Father and Jesus Christ.  Parts of the holy scriptures were corrupted or lost, and no one had authority to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost or perform other priesthood ordinances.  This apostasy lasted until Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820 and initiated the restoration of the fullness of the gospel.”1

So, in a nutshell, the Mormon belief in a Great Apostasy boils down to three points:
1.      Christ’s gospel became corrupted and changed
2.      The Bible became corrupted, and incomplete
3.      The Priesthood power is taken away from man.

In this article, let’s deal with points #1 and #2.  For more information on the false priesthoods of Mormonism, you can see the articles under the category of “Priesthood” on this blog.

Some of the Biblical verses that the LDS use for proof of a complete worldwide apostasy are:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; and Acts 20:28-30.  These are cited in the Book, “LDS Beliefs” on page 46.2

Acts 20:28-30
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

“What is the context here?  Paul is speaking to the elders in the church at Ephesus (verse 17).  And he is warning them about what is headed their way, in their respective church at Ephesus, NOT in the entire world!”3

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

“This passage is speaking of a very specific period of time, AN END-TIME PROPHECY, when there will be an apostasy, but not of the whole church! ... He [Paul] is saying that Jesus will not come until there comes a falling away first, a specific falling away WHEN the Anti-Christ is revealed… Yes, this passage does refer to apostasy, but it is a SPECIFIC apostasy, at a SPECIFIC time and a SPECIFIC place in history when the anti-Christ reveals himself – nothing before and only one.”4

1 Timothy 4:1
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”

“Now, notice that Paul didn’t write…that in the latter times all shall depart from the faith!  But instead wrote that in latter times some shall depart from the faith.

Some. Some! Not the entire world.”5

The existence of the Mormon Church hinges on the world wide apostasy.  In the Joseph Smith History (found in their books of scripture), Joseph claims he wanted to know which church to join, so he went out to a grove of trees to pray for an answer.  This is where Joseph says Heavenly Father and Jesus appeared to him as two separate beings with physical bodies. 

Joseph writes their answer to his question, “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: ‘they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof’.”

Since then, LDS leaders consistently teach that all other churches are wrong…

“The people called Christians are shrouded in ignorance, and read the Scriptures with darkened understandings.”  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:333)

“What does the Christian world know about God?  Nothing; yet these very men assume the right and power to tell others what they shall not believe in.  Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest of fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225)

“And virtually all the millions of apostate Christendom have abased themselves before the mythical throne of a mythical Christ whom they vainly suppose to be a spirit essence who is incorporeal uncreated, immaterial and three-in-one with the Father and Holy Spirit” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966 pg. 270)

And yet Mormons continue to claim they ARE Christian.

What Does the Bible Say?

Jesus said to Peter, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!”  Matthew 16:18

Jesus is saying that His church will be able to stand up against anything.  He is saying that it will not fall into apostasy after He and His apostles die.

He said to his followers, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”  Matthew 28:20

Jesus promises to be with his followers until the end of the world.  He sent the Holy Ghost as a promise that those who believe will have eternal life.  Jesus will not take that away… at least not until the end of the world.

Paul writes, “Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout the ages, world without end.”  Throughout the ages means it would never leave earth.  Therefore, there would NOT be a complete apostasy.

Even though Mormons claim to be Christian, their belief about a Great world-wide apostasy is NOT Biblical, and therefore, NOT consistent with Christian beliefs.

On May 18, 1873 (as recorded in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16 p. 46), Brigham Young issued a challenge:  “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.”

I have accepted that challenge from Brigham Young.

On the subject of Apostasy, the LDS religion FAILS this test.